Browsing through old blogs, I discovered the fascination and adoration for macarons. Previously, the only macaroons I was aware of were those of the coconut variety but I soon discovered the creative and intriguing world of French macarons. I immediately began looking for some place to try it but unfortunately there were no places in Kingston that I could find catering to this French dessert. So my craving would have to wait until a trip back home to Toronto. In the meantime, I decided to learn whatever I could about them, their flavours, where to find some and what I should expect when it comes to a good and fresh macaron.

For those who don’t know, a macaron is a meringue-based dessert: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar. It comes in a wide variety of flavours and quick browse through food blogs, you’ll quickly see its popularity and versatility.

So I researched and looked through forums debating on where to get a decent macaron in Toronto. I compiled a list and vowed that if I was in the area of any of them, I’d venture and get my first taste. I never did end up in any of the areas; instead I got a friend to drive me out to the closest one – Ruelo Patesserie.

As you enter the store, you immediately notice the desserts sitting in the glass case ahead of you. The place is clean and colourful without being too overly decorated or in your face. The desserts are laid out with labels and prices, each looking more appetizing than the next. On the forums, I read mixed reviews from the place but I was willing to try anyways. I reviewed their flavours in advance and knew when I wanted. I ended up purchasing 11 different flavours to try and took them home to enjoy. They were packaged in a little bag for me with a card showcasing the store’s range of flavours.

Both above pictures are not identical placement so we’re going to go with the bottom picture for reference. Also keep in mind that this was my first time trying macarons. I have no idea what ‘the best’ macaron tastes like. I have some idea as to what it should taste like so with that concept in mind plus my own palette, I came up with these opinions.

1. Raspberry – The shell for this one was so perfect, with a perfect dome and feet at each cookie. The flavour was exact and delicious, totally resembling a raspberry. It was a tad chewy on the inside but I enjoyed it all the same because of its strong flavour.

2.  Fleur de Sel Caramel – This was my most favourite of all based on flavour. The salty sweetness is definitely shined through as soon as you took your first bite. Unfortunately, it was far too chewy. Hopefully it was just a mishap for the day.

3. Pistachio Raspberry – The shell was a beautiful green colour and had a nice crisp bite to it. There was a dried raspberry in the centre to help with added flavour and texture which was a nice surprise. The pistachio filling was delicious and flavourful and worked really well with the raspberry. It definitely wasn’t too sweet. Due to the nuttiness, I also had hints of chocolate from it.

4. Espresso, Chocolate – This was definitely way too chewy and very off-putting. I generally like coffee flavoured things (despite not being a coffee drinker) but this flavour didn’t suit me at all.

5. Wasabi Grapefruit – I bought this out of curiousity. I love wasabi but have never had it in any dessert form so I was intruiged. The shell was crisp with just a hint of grapefuit flavour. It definitely wasn’t too sweet nor was it chewy. The filling was…unique. As you bite into it, it has this delightful sweet grapefruit flavour but a few seconds later you get the punch from the wasabi. The filling is this nice light green colour from the wasabi. It also had a candied piece of fruit in the middle just like the pistachio raspberry. Unfortunately was a tad too bitter to really enjoy but definitely an interesting flavour combo.

6. Banana Chocolate – This tasted just as you’d expect from the name. Personally not a big fan of banana flavoured things but I’ll give it props for being authentic. If you’re a fan of banana, this is definitely one to try as the flavour is pretty exact.

7. Peppermint – This was certainly my least favourite flavour unfortunately. In fact, I couldn’t bring myself to finish the rest of the macaron. It was the flavour of the filling that was the least appealing to me. I had expected a stronger mint flavour and this lacked that entirely.

8. Rose Lycee Raspberry – This has a strong lycee flavour. Although I haven’t eaten to many rose flavoured infused things, I could detect hints of it. Another candied lychee fruit in the centre of the filling which I enjoyed. The filling was light pink almost lavender colour. Overall it was a tad chewy and a tad too sweet but delicious flavours.

9. Cream Cheese Orange – There were candied oranges in the filling and a definite distinct cream cheese flavour. Not too sweet at all and the shell was crispy. When you bit into it, it was soft and had a melt in your mouth effect. This was probably my most favourite overall.

10. Praline – Flavour-wise this was so delicious. I’m a big fan of praline flavours and it reminded me of on my favourite Filipino desserts. There was just a tad too much filling so it kept escaping out the sides. It was definitely more chewy than the others and a touch too sweet but the delicious flavour made up for it.

11. Vanilla – Another one of my favourites. You could see the flecks of vanilla bean in the shell and in the filling. The filling was creamy and tasty. It’s a classic flavour that’s hard to go wrong with

All in all, I enjoyed my first adventure into the world of  French macarons. Ruelo service was great. The place was quiet when I visited with friends. They have a website featuring some of their other desserts (cakes, tarts). For whatever reason, macarons are not listed on the website. I was worried that they had stopped serving it since I had visited there a while ago to do this review but a quick phone call to them confirmed that they do still in fact sell them. Cost for them is about $2.25-2.50 depending on the flavour you get. A tad pricey if you want my opinion as I’ve sourced for competitor’s prices. Hopefully this review will help you decipher which ones you’d actually want to try and avoid wasting your money. Luckily my friend bought these for me as a nice gesture.They’re located inside the Times Square plaza on the ground level on the north side of the plaza. A spin around the parking lot and you should be able to find it fairly easy. If you live up north in the GTA and want your fix of macarons, give this place a try and taste for yourself.

Happy Eating! :)

Times Square
550 Highway 7 E., Unit C73
Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3Z4
(905) 762-1500
Ruelo Patisserie on Urbanspoon